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Special Edition -- Shot Down: Malaysia 17

Aired July 19, 2014 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And this is a special two-hour edition of OUTFRONT, "Shot Down: Malaysia 17."

Good evening to our viewers in the U.S. and around the world to the special edition of OUTFRONT. I'm Erin Burnett.

We begin with breaking news in the investigation of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. The leader of the pro-Russian rebels is conceding the plane was shot down but denies his group had anything to do with it.

Now, this comes on the day of many developments and I want to go through the very latest that we have for you right now. Ukrainian officials accusing the rebels of moving bodies and tampering with evidence at the crash site. The Dutch prime minister calls images of people rummaging through the debris, quote/unquote, "downright disgusting."

Ukraine's prime minister tells CNN someone well-trained fired at Flight 17 and Ukraine's counterintelligence chief also claims three BUK missiles, which are Russian-made, had crossed recently from Russia to Ukraine, accompanied by Russian nationals.

Russia denies any involvement.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking to President Vladimir Putin today, asked him to force the rebels to allow crash investigators full access to the site. We're going to be joined by one of those investigators tonight.

And, finally, we have the full list of the names of passengers on board MH17. Malaysia Airlines released that data today.

We're going to be talking a lot more about those victims in the program, 298 people waiting the dignity of a burial, citizens of 12 nations, 80 of them children.

And that is where we begin tonight at the crash site, which is being called the biggest crime scene in the world.

I want to go to Chris Cuomo. He was there today.

And, Chris, I know you saw some horrible and unforgettable things.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN NEW DAY ANCHOR: There's no question about that, and the worst part, Erin, is for the families that are still waiting for answers. The talk-to-action ratio in this situation has been deplorable.

There's no question that you have all-out conflict in eastern Ukraine. It's 3:00 in the morning here. Just moments ago, we were hearing gunfire not too far away from where we're standing right now. Who did this and why and what to do about it are very important questions.

But there's a bigger immediacy here. For all the talk about the victims, very little has been done for them. It takes a very long time to get out to this site. You see, tons of the scars of the conflict going on here. A lot of guns are being pointed at you. There's a lot of hostility and violence.

But when you get there, you see a completely unsecured scene. You see militants who are far more interested in a show of force than in any type of inspection. We couldn't understand whether it was just exhaustion because most of us haven't slept since Thursday in trying to get to this remote place, but for a situation to be so raw, Erin, two days in, bodies left out in the heat, dogs in the area, you know, and really the dignity, the word dignity of the dead.

For all the memorials around the world, Erin, you go there and you cannot help but be disappointed with how little respect for this investigation to get you the clear answers you want about culpability here, and the respect for the dead. Only today did we get some of the first pictures of people putting the bodies in bags, getting them out of the sun, loading them on to trucks, and then taking them away. We don't know where.

And it's hard for the inspectors to get in because if there's full- blown conflict, and the question, Erin, that has to be asked is, who will fill the vacuum? Ukraine is not in control of the area where this crash is. Who's going to help get the answers you need there?

BURNETT: And, Chris, let me ask you, in terms of the Dutch prime minister, he said there were images of people rummaging through the debris which he called downright disgusting. I think you could use worse words than that. But let me ask you, though, did you see any of that?

CUOMO: I did not see looting, but I'll tell you what I did see, or more importantly, Erin, what we're not seeing. Unfortunately, you and I, we've covered crashes before. Where are the personal affects? The watches, the wallets, the cell phones, the computers, you know, the trappings of somebody's life and existence? All you see there are things that are no longer valuable, and that's very troubling.

And yes, there are rumors, and yes, I had an armed man who was just walking through our hotel lobby joke and point to his wrist and say a lot of new wristwatches out there today. Hopefully, he was just making a morbid joke. You'd like to believe the looting isn't possible, but the reports are rampant.

Now, I'll tell you, people are lucky to have the media in this particular situation. Very often, the media can be like vultures, but if they weren't out there documenting the scene, by the time the real inspectors and investigators get there, the integrity would be completely gone. You'd have almost no way of knowing what this looked like when it first happened if the media weren't out there risking themselves to take pictures even with militants pointing guns at them and wanting them to get out of the way.

BOLDUAN: All right. Chris Cuomo, thank you very much. Chris is going to with us throughout our special program tonight.

I want to bring in our safety analyst David Soucie, aviation analyst Mary Schiavo, and, of course, our aviation correspondent Richard Quest and host of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS." They're all OUTFRONT.

Let me start with you, Richard. What we're hearing from Chris is very sobering. And I think what he said, he's careful to say, he had not seen looting, but those personal effects, watches, things like that, didn't seem to be there.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: No, and not only that, but there had been reports, and indeed, the self-proclaimed prime minister talked about, yes, some credit cards had gone missing, in one of his statements, in his interview.

So, yes, there has been looting. I mean, let's call a spade a shovel in this situation. It is quite clear that has happened. Last night, you and I talked on OUTFRONT and I said my big concern and worry was how this moves forward.

Twenty-four hours later, I'm even more concerned because we're now two days in, the bodies are decomposing at a tremendous rate. I'm not going to be distasteful, but you heard Chris talk about dogs. I mean, this is -- even if they started now to get people in, it would be another day and a half to two days before it could ramp up.

So, I still cannot see how this doesn't get much worse before it gets better.

BURNETT: And, Mary, when we talk about removing evidence, which, of course, the Ukrainian government has alleged the rebels are doing, what evidence could be being removed that would be central to figuring out the crucial questions here of who did it, when did they do it, from where did they do it and with what did they do it?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATON CORRESPONDENT: Well, virtually, any piece of wreckage or any body can contain the evidence that's necessary. In Pan Am 103, investigators walked shoulder to shoulder through the countryside and the key piece was the size of my thumbnail. So, anything can contain the smoking gun trail to the criminals who did this.

But, for example, the explosive device has pieces of metal in it. You can see those entry points on to the aircraft or luggage or persons. Leaves an explosive residue that's very discernible and you can determine what it is, if it came from this kind of a missile, et cetera.

So, virtually, every piece can be a very valuable piece of evidence.

BURNETT: Every piece can be valuable, but to the point, I suppose I'm trying to see if there's any optimism in terms of bringing the people who did this to justice, it would sound like what you're saying, if you're talking about residue, that is something that can be removed because it's simply on too many pieces of the plane.

SCHIAVO: And a huge part of every investigation is also of the investigation that aren't at the crime scene. In Pan Am 103, for example, there are 15,000 interviews. In the 9/11 cases, we conducted 157 depositions.

So, behind the scenes also, there's a tremendous amount of forensic evidence that is gathered through other methods, so I don't -- certainly don't mean to suggest that the guilty can't be brought to justice. I think they can. But it's compromised by not having a good investigation scene.

BURNETT: And, David, will we be able to know exactly what happened? You know, where this missile hit, what happened onboard that plane? Will we figure that out? I guess the black boxes, perhaps, might be important in that. We don't know where they are right now.

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: (INAUDIBLE) indicative of what might happen, because if it's a sudden explosion, the black boxes may record a sound, may not. But looking at the wreckage, it's clear that the tail section is where the missile would have hit because the tail section is removed and there's no flame or fire in that area. So, we're looking at --

BURNETT: So, wait, how does that tell you that? I mean, that seems obvious to you, but some people might say, if the missile hit there why does the missile section appear intact?

SOUCIE: Right. Because it would have -- the missile doesn't go through it. What happens is the missiles throws debris at the aircraft. It explodes before it hits and impacts, so with that a case to me, those pieces of debris separated the tail from the aircraft. So the aircraft was -- the tail was gone before the aircraft went down or caught on fire.

So, this piece of the tail is where you would find the black boxes. If the black boxes were in that tail, though, there's a possibility that they broke loose from the aircraft at that point. If that happened, they could be anywhere up around the countryside. They're heavy boxes but they're falling from 32,000 feet. So, you have to consider that.

The other thing about this tail section that tells me that, if the tail section did come off like I suspect, the nose of the aircraft would have been much heavier, would have dropped down and driven the aircraft straight down which would explain a lot about what the descriptions of the bodies falling and the pieces of aircraft out of digit sections. That would give us a better explanation of that, instead of an in-flight eruption of everything to the aircraft. So -- QUEST: One of the reasons we're seeing this grotesque number of

bodies over such a wide area is because of the way, and the point of flight which this incident happened. The plane was in the cruise. It had been flying for several hours. People were walking around the cabin. Their seat belts were undone.

And, therefore, when the aircraft fell apart, and that's what effectively happened, the missile took it to -- you know, disabled, crippled the plane. That's why you've got this extraordinarily awful scene of so many people.

BURNETT: And a wide range. What people find so hard here, I can see it on all of your faces, just imagining that situation. I mean, I think people wanted to think if this happened this would happen quickly and wouldn't know it happened. It sounds like what you're all saying is that may not be what happened.

SOUCIE: It's difficult to say. There is a possibility that it was sudden, that the deaths were sudden because of the fact if that happened, as I described, the pressure inside of the aircraft would have been such that it would not be survivable. It would be an instantaneous death.

So, I --

BURNETT: That's all you can hope for is that it was instantaneous.


BURNETT: Of course, that's what everyone would hope for.

Richard, I guess the bottom-line question is, do you think at this point that investigators getting in are going to be able to get these crucial answers that they need, or to Chris Cuomo's point, is it possibly too late?

QUEST: Oh, no, no, no. It's not too late. No, no, no. You're talking --

BURNETT: I agree, it's not too late.

QUEST: You're talking about a missile here. You don't need a huge amount of evidence.

SCHIAVO: That's right. I worked a crash where they had front loaders and just scooped up everything and put it in bins. We then took it out of the bins and pieced it back together.

BURNETT: At this point you know it was a missile. Mostly we know what kind of a missile it was, we're almost certain.


QUEST: They would have to do something horrendous to that site not to find a piece of something that's got residue, that's got traces, that's got burning, whatever it is. SOUCIE: The Colorado Springs accident, for example, was a very, very

small impact point. Everything to do with the aircraft was within that specific area. And we were still able to trace that back to some very specific things that happened in a rudder control system.

BURNETT: All right.

SOUCIE: So there's many things we can do. The big concern I think here is the respect and the dignity of the bodies.


SOUCIE: Even in any investigation, the investigation comes secondary to that.


SOUCIE: Completely secondary to that.

BURNETT: As it should, of course.

Thanks to all three of you. They're going to be with us through our program tonight.

OUTFRONT next, charges of a cover-up. A senior American official says pro-Russian rebels are trying to sanitize the scene to conceal their involvement. He's OUTFRONT next to make his case.

Plus, a Dutch cyclist says on Twitter he was booked on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and before that he was booked on Flight 370. Did he cheat death twice?

And a family's unspeakable loss. Six members of one family were on that plane on Thursday.


BURNETT: Our breaking news coverage of downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 continues.

The Ukrainian prime minister says someone well trained fired at the passenger jet. There are accusations coming from the counterintelligence chief in Ukraine that the missile system that was used to down the plane came from Russia very recently. President Obama and the United States and intelligence officials in the U.S. believe rebel fighters could not have operated the surface-to-air missile that was responsible for the shoot-down without training from Russia.

OUTFRONT tonight, Republican Congressman Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington.

Chairman Royce, it's good it have you with us tonight.

Let me ask you this crucial question first about the scene there that possibly, I know you've had a concern that pro-Russian rebels are sanitizing the scene to try it conceal their involvement in the crash. Our experts are saying that might be impossible simply because the missile would have left so much evidence behind.

Does that make you feel any better we may get an answer on who did this when and how?

REP. ED ROYCE (R), CALIFORNIA (via telephone): Well, my suspicion is their goal is to try to pick up all the missile parts. The reason they want to that as General Breedlove indicated, supreme commander of NATO forces, he warned last month that these separatists were being taken to Russia and trained in firing just these types of missiles.

And so, we've already had a situation where they've taken credit for shooting down three planes. One was a military transport. One was a Ukrainian jet. This third one they thought was a military transport. And they took credit for that immediately after shooting it down and then they tried to reverse themselves.

And now, they're claiming they didn't do it and mow they're trying to sanitize the crime scene so that, you know, the blame does not fall on them. But they most certainly were trained and have been shooting at planes in that area.

BURNETT: And, Chairman, we have here your camera shot now back available, so we're going to get Chairman Royce up for you on camera so you can see him.

While we do that for one moment, I want to bring many foreign affairs correspondent, Elise Labott and Josh Rogin, a reporter on national security for "The Daily Beast."

All right. Good to have both of you with us.

Elise, let me ask you. I want to ask this of Chairman Royce in a moment. The world watched during the initial Ukraine crisis that the United States said Russia, back off, don't do this, put some sanctions on Russia and Russia essentially continued to do whatever it was it wanted to. Now, this has happened.

Will anything change? Can the United States do anything more than what it's already done which is put a few more sanctions on Russia?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, the question is, is this the tipping point not just for the United States and what it's prepared to do? Because I think the administration has been slowly trying to gear up wider economic sanctions on the Russians.

But the question is, will this galvanize Europe? A lot of European countries who have very close economic ties to Russia have been balking at wider sanctions. Now that these countries, many of them have suffered casualties, the Dutch, for instance, how many casualties they suffered, are their publics at home, are their politicians in opposition to the government going to put pressure on these leaders to take stiffer actions? It remains to be seen. Germany's Angela Merkel said, look, let's wait a minute. But as the

evidence comes more clear, I think there's going to be a lot of pressure on the Europeans to step it up.

BURNETT: Let me ask you about that, Chairman Royce. Now we have you back with us.

I suppose, let's just start with this. Is there any intelligence or e evidence that links this directly to Vladimir Putin? I ask this specifically. Not was it Russian rebels -- pro-Russian rebels with Russian assistance.

But was this something the ruler of Russia, himself, would have known about, or do you think that distinction doesn't matter?

ROYCE: No, I think -- I was in eastern Ukraine two months ago, and I can tell you that the only reason that this insurrection continues is because of armaments and training that comes in from Russia and I can also tell you the individual who is giving that order, that goes right to Putin. He is the one who is fueling this.

If he should decide tomorrow that the armaments and the tanks would to longer come over the border -- and this was the other argument made recently -- was the number of Russian tanks coming over the border, that they're stepping this up. If they pull out, the cease-fire will hold, and the peace plan that Poroshenko is trying to put in place, which frankly is very accommodating for regional --

BURNETT: The president of Ukraine.

ROYCE: -- elections in eastern Ukraine, I mean, we could have peace here if Putin will only listen to international public opinion. Perhaps now he will.

BURNETT: And let me follow with something interesting. Democratic Congressman Engel called this an act of terror. That was reported by Josh in "The Daily Beast." Republican Congressman Peter King has called this something where President Putin has blood on his hands.

Those are strong words. Using the word "terrorism" to apply to an act that may have been -- and appears at this point to have on unintentional, although horrific, is that a fair word to use? Because if we're going to use that word, perhaps in terms of response and how the world handles this, the bar goes way higher, doesn't it?

ROYCE: Well, when we're talking about terror, think for a minute the types of weapons Putin has introduced into this theater and the type of training which obviously for group of separatists can't be to the caliber you would have for Russian troops.

So, what do you expect to happen when you bring that type of heavy weaponry into eastern Ukraine and teach these guys to start shooting planes out of the sky? I mean, there is culpability here and it goes right to Vladimir Putin. And the right thing for him to do at this point is to say, all right, let's have a cease-fire, let's support an international investigation, get ICAO in there, the International Civil Aviation Organization.


ROYCE: But we all know what that is going to show given the fact they've already taken credit for shooting down planes. I mean, unfortunately, I think the only good thing that can come out of this now is a commitment to allow the peace plan to be put in place.

BURNETT: So, let me, Josh Rogin, bring you in here on what the chairman just said about this issue of culpability and going all the way to the top. When you hear that, and words like that, what do you hear from your sources about this issue of the use of the word "blood on his hands", the use of the word "terrorist act"?

JOSH ROGIN, THE DAILY BEAST: Sure, it ties into everything you've been reporting tonight because, of course, the less evidence and the less forensics that can be done on this crash, the less we can tie it to the Russian intelligence, to the Russian leadership. And the reason that's important, according to many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, is because this will be the subject of litigation, it will become a diplomatic issue. And both sides will argue the other side is to blame.

So, there will be a lot more wrangling over exactly what happened and exactly how far up it goes, who knew what -- who knew what when, exactly what was the level of Russian intelligence at the time? These are all unanswered questions.

So, the forensic evidence chain is so important here and that's why the crash scene has to be preserved. And on the greater issue like Congressman Royce and lots of other Republicans and some Democrats are calling for increased sanctions on Russia on Vladimir Putin, specifically. There are bills in Congress that are going to get new attention when the lawmakers return and whether or not this is considered an act of terror or an act of war, as Democrat Carl Levin said, or whatever, this is going to be the push and we're going to have to see what happens.

BURNETT: And, Chairman Royce, should the united states be slapping sanctions on Russia? The U.S. could do more. It could slap sanctions on Russia, or maybe the world's wealthiest man. The U.S. could ban access to the United States economy and U.S. banks to Russian companies.

They could do this and they haven't, in part perhaps because something josh wrote about, they may be afraid Vladimir Putin could destroy the nuclear deal the U.S. wants to make with Iran. But he does have a hand to play. Does it matter? Should the U.S. put those sanctions on no matter what the cost?

ROYCE: Here's the difference. Before, I don't think we could have done this with the full support of Europe, Central Asia, East Asia. Today, I think we can.

Today, the entire international community, people from many different countries were on this flight, and with this circumstance, I think you've got an international will now to force the hand toward peace in Ukraine. We ought to use it. We ought to work together with the Europeans and certainly with East Asia, Central Asia.

The world community needs to come together to put an end to this bloodshed now and an end to transfer of these kinds of weapons across borders.

BURNETT: And, Elise, what are your sources telling you about what the United States government is waiting for? In terms of proof, in terms of evidence, to directly make the link, itself, to the Kremlin, which the president of the United States so far has been very careful not to explicitly do?

LABOTT: Well, I think they wan t to see the chain of command, Erin, where did the missile come from, who shot it? That type of thing.

But in a way, officials are telling me, look, it doesn't matter if President Putin gave them the missiles, and then said, do what you want with it, whether he sent an operative there and he did it or whether they gave them just an instruction manual. Officials do believe that this missile came from Russia, that Russia bears ultimate responsibility for the chaos in Ukraine.

And as the congressman said, if the Russians were willing to stop their support for the separatists on the larger issue of the conflict in Ukraine, we wouldn't be seeing the tragedy we saw today. So, I think you're ultimately going to see a lot more action from the United States and pushing the Europeans hard to go along with them.

BURNETT: Of course, it's crucial to see whether Angela Merkel, with such a crucial trade relationship with Russia will really say it and do it. Thanks to all of you.

And tomorrow morning, I want to make sure all of our viewers are aware -- John Kerry will be a guest on "STATE OF THE UNION WITH CANDY CROWLEY" on CNN. That is tomorrow morning at 9:00 Eastern Standard Time, here on CNN.

And still OUTFRONT, Flight 17, the crash site is being called the biggest crime scene in the world. So, why is it investigators to the crime scene aren't being granted access? We're going to speak to one of them who's there today.

And new questions about Russia's involvement. The prime minister of Ukraine talked to CNN about why he believes Vladimir Putin is responsible, and you'll hear his case.


BURNETT: Welcome back to our special two-hour live edition of OUTFRONT.

It is a horrible scene on the ground where Flight 17 is resting. One international observer calling it the biggest crime scene in the world -- a crime scene investigators have had a very hard time accessing and there are growing concerns evidence from what our reporters are seeing on the ground, human remains are not cared for, passengers' belongings are being looted.

Our Phil Black reports from the crash site.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is where MH17 scarred the earth with the greatest force and heat. The wreckage that struck here was big. Both of the Boeing 777's engines and wings, it's likely this is where the fuel load burned off as well. The blaze so intense, metal components melted into the ground.

Down the road, other big pieces of the aircraft mark the farming landscape, but the smaller debris here also holds real power, some of the commonplace possessions of travelers everywhere. But there is also the more personal, giving little insights into the lives of those who fell with the plane.

These were people from around the world with no connection to Ukraine's conflict, but their bodies now lie across this war zone. Their positions are marked with sticks and white cloth. Most of the injuries are too terrible to show, or even talk about.

Pro-Russian militants are in control here. Some show curiosity, but there's no obvious intention of quickly recovering the bodies or securing the aircraft.

(on camera): This is a strange, eerie experience, walking through the debris field of a passenger jet. The remains of its crew and passengers are everywhere, and yet there is no one here trying to work out what happened, no one here to take responsibility for this.

The militant's leaders say they are deliberately not altering the site to it remains intact for Ukrainian and international experts to inspect. They're blaming the central government in Kiev for not getting the experts here sooner.

Until both sides act together, there can be little dignity for MH17's victims.

Phil Black, CNN, near Hrabove, Eastern Ukraine.


BURNETT: I want to bring in our aviation analyst, former inspector Mary Schiavo who has inspected many of these crashes. And our counterterrorism analyst, Phil Mud, also formerly of the CIA, right?

Good to have both of you with us.

Mary, we watch both of these things, I think it's just -- it's hard to focus. I think the viewer finds it hard to focus because this is something that was so -- it could have happened to anyone. In a way that, perhaps, I think viewers feel more than anything else. We've talked about in a long time. So, is there, when you, in all your experience of investigating these

sorts of crashes, how different is this one in terms of the scene? When we hear about these horrible things that are happening, has that happened before? Is this something that can be fixed?

SCHIAVO: Well, the lack of control is very different from other accidents because usually someone is in charge. But in terms of preserving in the long run the investigation, the evidence, yes, they will have it. It's impossible to erase it.

But, you know, there's a recent shooting, shoot-down that is probably weighing very heavily on the minds of both sides, and that's when Ukraine shot down a jetliner that came out of Siberia, Siberian Airlines. In that case, Ukraine eventually admitted they had mistakenly shot it down. In that case, their missile missed its drone target and then hit the Siberian Airlines. They admitted it but then later went to court and took the position that there was no evidence it was a missile, that it was a shoot-down. So, they paid reparations and turned around in court and said they didn't.

So, the reason for people being very protective of their evidence might lie in the history of shoot-downs in the area.

BURNETT: But when you hear all these lawmakers, political side of this story, you heard it from the chairman of the House Intel Committee, he's hearing reports they're trying to remove evidence that there was a missile there. You're saying you can take the fears away from people like him, because no matter what they remove, there will be evidence of this missile, will be able to know what missile hit, when it hit, how it hit.

SCHIAVO: Well, I suspect the United States knows that already from the GPS tracings and probably classified information. They are able to get the particular signature of the missile.

But on any part that was in the area, you will see the metal explosive tracings or the metal actually enters the plane, et cetera. You'll be able to remove that. My fear would be if they're trying to remove all of the evidence of the wreckage, if they're trying to take it all away. I've seen it in some countries where they bulldoze it into a container, as long as they don't dispose it, they'll be able to get it.

BURNETT: And, Phil, let me ask you, one of the issues here, our understanding to this point, they believe it was a Russian BUK military system. That's not yet been confirmed. But that's the belief, right? It's been widely reported. U.S. officials have said that, they say that's what it is.

This system goes on the back of basically a larger pickup truck. You can move it very quickly. You can fire it many five minutes. It's incredibly mobile.

And, obviously, even if there was senior Russian involvement on the military side, people were able to be trained to do it. If could get in the hands of Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. Could something like this get in the hands of al Qaeda linked, al Qaeda sympathizers, is in Iraq, and become a threat in much more than a very specific war zone?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I think there's the potential that it could.

But I have to tell you, my experience for dealing with terrorists for about a quarter century, this is more sophisticated than the terrorists I followed could use. That's one reason when I initially looked at this problem, I jumped to the fact this had to be some people who had expertise, maybe trained by Russians to use it.

Because I saw terrorists, for example, use shoulder-fired missiles which is far more basic than this system. And even with those systems, they had -- they struggled to use them effectively.

BURNETT: And you don't think the game -- this could be a game changer, Phil, in terms of them becoming aware of these sorts of things or aspiring to these sorts of things? I mean, what -- how hard is the training if you were able to get it to operate, a system like the BUK?

MUDD: I think it's a game changer -- let me step back. The terrorists I looked at always looked at international media. They looked at things like what happened in western Europe, United States, to find new ideas about things to do.

You remember the Washington sniper incident years ago.


MUDD: I remember when I was at the central intelligence agency, terrorists looking at they saying, hey, a couple people paralyzed in a major urban area, maybe that's something we should try.

A couple things I'd look at over time, Erin. The first is, of course, whether people, ISIS in Iraq, or Syria could acquire a system. More interestingly, it would be not whether you could train a baseline terrorist to do this. It would be whether they could recruit people from the military who are already trained on these systems to use them.

I don't think you can train a line guy, sort of terrorists I followed, to do this.

BURNETT: That's a crucial point, to recruit people already involved.

Mary, before we go in this --

MUDD: That's right.

BURNETT: -- how difficult would it be -- it's easy for people to say it's so mobile and get a little training, Phil's saying it's a lot of training. But then you take a step back and say this is a missile on the ground on the back of a truck hitting a plane moving at 600 miles an hour at 33,000 feet. That's got to be incredibly hard to do.

SCHIAVO: Well, no, because the machinery does it for you. The machinery will hit --

BURNETT: It hones in and finds it?

SCHIAVO: Yes, one thing I learned in the 11 years I spent doing the 9/11 cases, is that, if you can think it, the terrorists are researching it.

Here I would tend to disagree. For example, Osama bin Laden bought an aircraft before 9/11, before he decided to take them, bought them, had it transported, bought in Texas. They crashed it but they were thinking technology all the time and that's what we learned in 9/11. They're always thinking ahead.

They're thinking about this.

BURNETT: Thanks very much to both of you.

And OUTFRONT next, the Ukrainian officials saying Russia was involved in the strike. The prime minister made his case directly to CNN, and we're going to hear it.

Plus, Malaysia Airlines on the defense about the route that plane was flying. Why didn't it avoid Ukraine's airspace like many did? >

And a Dutch cycler claims on twitter he was booked on both of the Malaysia Airlines that went down. Did he really avoid two tragedies?


BURNETT: More of our breaking news coverage of Flight 17.

Joining me now is Michael Bociurkiw. He's a spokesperson for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. That is the group that has been trying to investigate, get access to the crime scene, monitor the security situation in eastern Ukraine. They were the first international monitors to arrive there.

And I understand, Michael, that you've been, just a moment ago you had to literally crouch down as you were getting ready to speak to us because you were hearing gunfire.

MICHAEL BOCIURKIW, OSCE: Yes, I'm sorry if it looks like we're crouching down, but it just shows you the lawlessness of even a relatively safe city like Donetsk. As soon as the cameraman turned on the light, there was a crack of gunfire.

There was a curfew here that the rebels try to enforce, but it really does show you the lawlessness. It's amazing.

In any case, we, despite all of that, we have now for the second day managed to make it to the crash site. Every day before that happens, it does require some negotiation with the rebel leaders, but we're able to do it and we're going to plan -- we're going to do the same thing in a few hours from now -- go to the crash site and continue our monitoring.

BURNETT: And, Michael, how organized are these rebels that you're dealing with? I mean, are they really in control? Is there one person in control? Because when you talk about hearing a gunfire behind you, it sounds like they may want us to think that they're in control. But it is, perhaps, more complicated than that.

BOCIURKIW: It is very complicated, Erin. You know, you have the Donetsk self-proclaimed People's Republic leaders, they hold sway over a big piece of the territory here. But it seems to us, anyway after two days, that once we go to the area of the crash site, there's another group that holds sway there. And I can say they're not the most hospitable people.

But it's a very -- it's a patchwork environment in Donetsk Oblast, where we are now and also in neighboring Luhansk Oblast.

BURNETT: In terms of your access to the site, Michael, you and I spoke last night. You said you had been given access but only a little bit over an hour and not what you needed. Today, were you able to get the full access you need? What is it that you still need that you are not getting?

BOCIURKIW: Yes. Okay, well, yes, today was better. We were there for a longer period of time. We were able to traverse a bigger geographical area. But yet they did not allow our diplomatic vehicles on to the scene.

And what we're going to be needing tomorrow is really unfettered access by now, because time is really moving quickly.

When we left today, I have to mention this to you, we did see what looked like preparations for the bodies to be moved or at least some of them. They were actually being collected from the field, put into body bags and some trucks did arrive. And then subsequent to that, there were reports that dozens of bodies have been moved.

Now, again, we as a monitoring mission, part of our strength is we don't operate on speculation. We verify reports. So, that's what we're going to do first thing in the morning, compare the body count to what we saw yesterday, verifying whether bodies have been moved, number one, and number two, where they've gone to.

BURNETT: And so, I know you're trying to figure that out. Can you tell us, though, who was removing the bodies? And I would assume they were trying to do so in what you're talking about in a respectful way with body bags, I mean, they were trying to gather the dead.

Who was it that was doing that?

BOCIURKIW: Well, the rebel leaders there referred to them as experts, and, you know, these look like civilians to us. We weren't given really access to them, to verify their identity.

However, we did speak to one chap who seemed to know what he was doing. He described a procedure, they go out, photograph, video the remains of the body, and only then is it placed into a body bag and moved. We asked, well, what are you going to do with the photographs? He said, well, this is for when the relatives arrive and then they'll have an easier time identifying them.

But it didn't seem like a very well planned out exercise.

BURNETT: Michael, do you know anything more about the black boxes? Ukrainian officials said on Friday that the recorders were still in their country but they didn't know who had them. Have you heard anything about that? And had anyone at the scene have a sense of where they might be?

BOCIURKIW: Well, that was one of our first questions yesterday and again today. Part of the problem, Erin, is that there doesn't seem to be one commander in charge. So when we did ask for, to speak to a leader, nobody was produced. We did ask about the black box and we basically got a shrug of the shoulders.

So that -- that hasn't been produced yet, and, you know, it's a huge problem obviously because we also brought with us, by the way, for the second day, aviation experts three or four of them from the Ukrainian government side. It was quite an accomplishment.

And they need a lot more time and a lot more freedom of access to go about and look carefully at the wreckage for two reasons. One, the black boxes may still be there, and secondly, to determine possibly how this plane was brought down.

BURNETT: All right. Michael Bociurkiw, thank you, we appreciate you joining us tonight. Obviously taking a risk to do so, given those gunshots that he was hearing in the background.

Still to come, a family of six lost in the Flight 17 crash. We're going to go to their hometown to hear from those who are mourning that indescribable loss tonight.


BURNETT: Welcome back to or special two-hour edition of OUTFRONT, "Shot Down Malaysia 17."

One of the most heartbreaking stories was an entire family of six, two parents and their four children, wiped out. Their house is empty.

Tonight, Saima Mohsin traveled to their hometown in the Netherlands where she found an entire community in mourning.


SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A teenager unable to understand why her friend is gone.

(on camera): That's her.


MOHSIN (voice-over): She wanted to talk to me. "We'll do it for Jinte," her friend said, but she couldn't speak.

Fifteen-year-old Jinte was on Flight mh-17 with her parents, brother, and two sisters, heading on their summer holiday to Kuala Lumpur.

ELAINE MANDERS, FRIEND OF FAMILY KILLED IN MH17 CRASH: Yes, she was every time happy. Yes.

MOHSIN (on camera): You grew up together?

MANDERS: Yes. Every day we saw her as a good friend. She rides to school with us. Yes. She was good.

MOHSIN: And you wrote this note for her.


MOHSIN: Can you tell me what it says?

MANDERS: Every time right here with us.

MOHSIN (voice-over): Throughout the day, we saw people from across this community bringing tributes, light lighting candles. A group of passing cyclists stopped for a moment to pay their respects. This man tells me he didn't know the family, he isn't fro here, but felt compelled to drive here to say a prayer and leave flowers.

Across the village of Neerkant, we found rows of houses flying their flags at half-mast.

PETER VAN DER BURG, NEIGHBOR OF FAMILY KILLED IN MH17 CRASH: Fairly deep level of shock because it was a well-known family. And I think people are still trying to handle the situation.

MOHSIN (on camera): Among the tributes, these are hearts with the names of all members of the family, six of them. And children at the school where Solen (ph) went, the youngest went of the four children. They wrote notes at the memorial yesterday and stuck it to this tree. This one addressed to Brett, the eldest son, saying, "Brett, I'll miss you," "Dear family, you didn't deserve this."

This note from one of the friends of one of the girls saying, "You will now be a bright star." This message from Solen's teacher saying, "I can't believe I won't see you again."

And this message is actually from the children's baby-sitter, so she has all the names of the children here. And she says, "No words," and then one simply, "why?"

(voice-over): Gone so suddenly, so brutally, untimely deaths for a young family friends loved so much.



I think she'll come back, but she can't.

MOHSIN (voice-over): Saima Mohsin, CNN, Neerkant near Amsterdam.


BURNETT: The stories are impossible to imagine. They're the parents who stayed a couple days extra from their vacation in Amsterdam. Their three children were on board that plane.

There is one twist of fate in the stories that are so horrible. A Dutch cyclist who actually narrowly escaped being on the plane and more than once. According to RTV Oost, which is a Dutch station, Maarten de Jonge was scheduled to be on Malaysian Flight 17. He changed his flight. He also, according to the station, was supposed to be on Malaysia Flight 370, the plane which is believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean and is missing after 137 days.

But apparently, it made a last-minute change. And he wasn't on that flight. Now, he's scheduled to fly on Malaysia Airlines on Sunday.

In an interview, he says, I got lucky twice. It will go well a third time. We're going to have more on the cyclist story coming up in our next hour.

And still to come, more of our breaking news coverage. Our reporters are standing by around the world with our latest developments. Our special two-hour edition of OUTFRONT continues next.


BURNETT: This is a special edition of OUTFRONT, "Shot Down Malaysia 17."


BURNETT: Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world tonight.

This is the second hour of our special edition of OUTFRONT.

Breaking news here at CNN, we are just getting new pictures of the crash site from our crew on the ground. It is the reality of what investigators are facing on the ground.

Bodies of the 298 passengers that lost their lives in body bags, along with debris and luggage. We do not know how many bodies at this time have been transported and we don't yet know exactly where they are being transported to.

It was just two days ago Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia was shot down by a Russian made surface-to-air missile in Ukraine.

Our reporters are around the world covering the story for us tonight.

Chris Cuomo is in Donetsk, Ukraine. Ivan Watson is in Kiev. Andrew Stevens is in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur. And Elise Labott is in Washington tonight.

And our foreign affairs correspondent Elise is with me now first.

I want to go to "NEW DAY's" Chris Cuomo who was at the crash site earlier today as well.

But, Elise, let me start you because I know you have breaking news for us tonight.

ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, you know our Barbara Starr and Jim Sciutto and others have been reporting over the last few days that the initial assessment of the intelligence community was that this Russian-made BUK missile, this SA-11 surface- to-air missile was sent from Russia into Ukraine in coming days. And now, U.S. officials are saying they believe that to definitely be the case.

What's new, Erin, is that they believe that since shoot-down of Malaysia Flight 17, that that launcher and other missiles that were operational have been brought back across the border, and the implication here, Erin, is Russia is trying to scrub the scene of the crash site and cover up any evidence that might implicate it in having supplied this missile to the separatists.

They do not know whether Russian operatives were in eastern Ukraine and actually fired that missile, but what officials do know is that these separatists, if they fired it, had to have had some training from the Russians. This is not, as we've been discussing, an operational system that is really good to go.

Officials say it doesn't matter, though. It doesn't matter whether Russian officials actually fired the missile or whether Russia just gave the separatists a missile with an instruction manual and said, go to it. U.S. does believe Russia has serious culpability here, Erin.

BURNETT: And, Elise, so you're saying the information now that you have is that they actually are confirming that the missile system that they believe was used has now been transported back over into Russia?

LABOTT: That's right. They do have evidence that it's being brought back into Russia.

And, again, the implication is that Russia is trying to cover up some evidence, and in a very tough phone call between Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov today, Secretary Kerry expressed grave concern that there was some tampering with the evidence and I think this is one of the things he was alluding to.

I think you're going to see the U.S. being laying out this case in the coming days, really pointing the finger not only at the separatists, but the Russian involvement as well, Erin.

BURNETT: It certainly begs the question, Elise, though, of if the Russians know that the U.S. knew, which they did, why would they bring that back over the Russian border? It sort of proves culpability, perhaps. Is there any way that that could be brought over the border without Russia approving of that? Is there any way that could be a rebel-initiated thing to try to get rid of it?

LABOTT: Well, I mean, whatever the culpability is, the Russian and separatists are in pretty close communication and clearly the belief is that they brought it -- that they brought it back over.

And this really does buttress what the Ukrainians have been saying since the shoot-down of the plane. You know, the Ukrainians had some video of this coming across of this missile system moving across. We had that missile system with one of the missiles actually missing, that launcher system with the missile missing.

But the U.S. officials I've been speaking to say that this is not only based on what they're hearing from Ukrainians, but their own intelligence as well, Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Elise, thank you very much.

I want to go to Ivan Watson now in Ukraine tonight -- because, Ivan, I know you had a chance to speak to the prime minister of Ukraine, now we have this new development that the U.S. is confirming that, indeed, the missile system they believe was responsible for shooting down the plane has now been brought back over into Russian territory.

This fits with exactly what you were told, doesn't it?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. The chief of Ukraine's counterintelligence agency, he made the claim on Saturday that no less than three of these BUK M-1 missile systems had been brought into Ukrainian territory and since the downing of MH17, that all of them have since returned to Russian territory. He went one step further in a briefing with journalists here in Kiev arguing that the missile system that he claims was used to bring down MH17 was operated by Russian nationals, fired by Russian nationals.

The Ukrainian prime minister also said that he didn't believe that whoever pressed the button was some drunken separatist rebel, but this had to be somebody who was trained, who could handle the sophisticated piece of technology.

The Ukrainian government here has been building quite a compelling case against the separatists and against Russia which it claims, arms, and trains and supports those separatists that they are ultimately responsible for bringing down Flight MH17. They've released videos, they've released photos of what they say are the BUK M-1 missile systems that were moving around in eastern Ukraine. They've released recordings of phone conversations that they claim are between rebels and Russian handlers, both before and after the shooting down of the plane that they say proved that they had a hand in this.

But we do also have to keep in mind that there is not only a hot war going on between the Ukrainian government and the separatists, but also a very fierce information war under way between Kiev, between the separatists, and Moscow as well with counterclaims and accusations. And both sides have proven to be making exaggerated claims in the past. We can't take anybody's word at face value. But certainly it's important that the U.S. government now is coming up

and stepping up and saying that it, too, has intelligence to back up these claims made by Ukrainian intelligence officials earlier on Saturday -- Erin.

BURNETT: Yes, they absolutely are, as Elise reported on that new development tonight.

I want to go to Chris Cuomo who is at the crash site earlier today.

And Chris, I -- again, I know it's hard to ask you this question because so much of what you saw is something you'll never forget and something you don't want to talk about. But tell us, because the state of that crash scene matters so much for people understanding why it is so important to know who did this and exactly why, when, and who pulled that trigger? What did you see?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN NEW DAY ANCHOR: Well, the problem is the scene is so raw and there's no accountability there, Erin. Let me help you out with a few things. First, it's 4:00 in the morning here right now. Small arms fire is coming from this way.

But more troubling, we're hearing heavy artillery come from the direction of the crash site. Now, that's a problem because that region is very hot with conflict and it may make it more difficult for the OSCE and investigators to get in there. So, we'll keep monitoring that situation.

In terms of what we saw there, the reason we took that footage that you're using on the show right now, the militants didn't want us to take it and we didn't understand why they didn't want us to take that footage. It would show what they're supposed to be doing responsibly here. But we took it, anyway, because we weren't getting answers for where the bodies were going.

And, you know, the team hadn't slept since Thursday, so we weren't sure whether our eyes were deceiving us, but when we showed up, we couldn't believe how raw this site is, and I don't know any other word for it, again, the bodies that were exposed to elements and dogs that are in the area. How they were playing with the fuselage, the military there, and joking around -- the lack of dignity being accorded the dead.

You know, Erin, I'm watching the show. You're doing a brilliant job of getting all these different perspectives. You're hearing these big statements from important people. This is the most important crime scene in the world, and all eyes are on it, and we're really worried that evidence is being taken.

Two points to that: one, I've never covered a story that matters so much where there's so little presence as there is right now. The media's here. Thankfully to document what's going on. But all these people saying they're so concerned, all these countries who are involved by having their citizens onboard this plane -- the talk-to- action ratio here is really deplorable, and it matters because that scene has been corrupted. And while the experts say that's OK, they'll be able to recreate what happened, but what about the families? What about the dignity of their loved ones? What about their remains and their personal affects? Who's going to take care of that?

It's not being done quickly enough, Erin, and there's really no excuse.

BURNETT: That's the horrible part of this story.

Andrew Stevens is now the other country most impacted by this outside the Netherlands, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, now had to deal with two horrific plane crashes within five months. MH370 is still missing and now 298 souls have lost they lives in eastern Ukraine.

Andrew, where you are, what is happening?

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, it's just gone 8:00 in the morning here, Erin. We're at the airport where it is pretty much business as usual. Not far from here, though, the Marriott Hotel is now the base for grieving families and also where family members, next of kin can get latest information.

There is a growing sense of frustration across all levels of society here. Chris talking there about the dignity of those victims in the plane. I'll add to that, here in Malaysia, Erin, this is predominantly an Islamic country, and one of the beliefs of Islam, of course, is the bodies of the deceased need to be buried within 24 hours. We're now heading toward the fourth day of the downing of MH17.

And the government here is pushing hard to try to get that clear corridor through to the site so the remains can be gathered to be brought back to families here in Malaysia, indeed, families across the world, grieving families across the world. The Prime Minister Najib Razak, his grand stepmother, the second wife of his grandfather, was on that flight. She was a very, very widely respected woman across society here in Malaysia.

So, the prime minister, himself, is directly affected by what's happened and he's sent a senior delegation, they're in the air now, Erin, to Kiev as one of his people told us yesterday, that he thinks that just with eye-to-eye contact with people on the ground in Kiev, at least, to try to get movement on getting to the crash site, to get those -- to get those bodies, get those remains and also get the investigation under way to find out, establish what really happened.

The government keeps on coming back to this, the perpetrators need to be brought to justice to get some sort of closure here in Malaysia among the countries, some 444 Malaysian nationals including the 15 crew members on the flight.

And as you say, Erin, this is less than five months after the strategy of MH370, still a complete mystery, still no evidence there. So, a double blow and the people here continue to ask, why us?

BURNETT: Andrew, thank you.

And OUTFRONT next, the breaking news: mounting evidence that Russia has been tampering with evidence. More on that coming up.

Plus, a Dutch cyclist claims he was booked on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and 370.

And, the Flight 17 passengers -- the people who died in the crash and the ones who didn't get on the plane.


BURNETT: We continue with our breaking news coverage of downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. The crash site called the biggest crime scene if the world.

OUTFRONT tonight, CNN safety analyst David Soucie, and aviation correspondent and host of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS," Richard Quest. Also joining us from Washington, CNN aviation analyst and veteran pilot, Miles O'Brien.

All right. Good to have all of you with us.

Let me start with you, Miles, as you join this conversation. We do just have some new headlines in from Rene Marsh, transportation reporter, she's saying the NTSB just saying -- the NTSB investigators, I guess that implies there's one at this point, is now in Kiev. Obviously, that's a far cry from being at the crash site, but there are international investigators coming into the country.

What's your sense, Miles, of if given what we're hearing is happening at the scene, their ability to reconstruct what happens?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, it gets harder by the day. Things are, you know, frankly, literally decaying, and the evidence won't last there forever.

Of course, there is this other issue of tampering with the evidence. Where are the flight data recorders? The flight data recorder, the cockpit voice recorder. Could there be a key piece of wreckage that suddenly goes missing? All these things come into mind when the chief suspects in the crime are those that are guarding the wreckage, itself.

So, having one NTSB investigator in Kiev, that's better than nothing, but we're a long way from a proper investigation.

BURNETT: And, David, to that point, you know, you and Mary Schiavo were talking about this earlier, in a way to perhaps assuage some of the fears, right? That no matter -- even if people tried to tamper with the evidence, that it would be in a sense impossible to do. In this case, you're not going to be able to hide what kind of missile hit it, you're not going to be able to hide how it hit it or from where, right? No matter what is removed?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: There's not a lot of mystery here. To destroy that type of evidence, you'd have to have a backhoe and a tractor and driving over the stuff. I mean, right now you can see, I can see from the photographs, it's probably very well-documented, in fact, that you can see from the photographs pretty much what happened to the aircraft in the sequence of those events.

So, it's a matter of putting it together. I think what's important here, though, is when it becomes a criminal case, which it appears that it certainly will, when that happens, and you have to have a chain of evidence and you have to have where it went from, the chain of custody, who took it, and what did it and was it altered? Those are the things that get thrown out of court that can change the results of a court case.

BURNETT: And, Richard, up of the things that's so crucial on this word, what kind of act this was, an act of war, terrorist attack, what was it? Was this truly unintentional? They meant to hit a cargo military plane, or did they not even check to see what they were going to hit?

And that could be a very, very crucial point. Is there anything here that would show that? On the black box, anything that would show whether day tried to figure out whether this plane was civilian?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, what you would get from the cockpit voice recorder, if there had been discussion, if there had been any callout, if they heard from the ground, anything like that. And -- but I can't see that that's going to be an issue here. I mean, no, but the core point is, as lawyers would say, the facts speak for themselves. They shot down a civil aviation aircraft. Therefore, by definition, the crime has been committed.

BURNETT: Right, no, it is a crime, but I'm just saying in other cases, these things have not necessarily been called terrorist acts. Some are calling this an act of terror.

QUEST: Right.

BURNETT: And there becomes the importance of did they know what they were doing or not even care to find out?

QUEST: Right. And if you -- where we get the cockpit voice recorder and data recorder, you'll get an idea of whether there was any attempt to communicate, attempt to find out what was going on.

They will get the data. They will get the recorders. The question is who gets them first.

BURNETT: And that is a crucial question, because that information might be on that crash site. It could be tampered with.

SOUCIE: Well, it could be. That could be, but I think it's important to look bigger at this. We're looking at what happened right there at the site that it was launched. Was it a mistake, was it intentful? Whatever it was, the big question is, why was it there in the first place? Why wasn't there -- not because Malaysia Air did a mistake. It's like saying I'm going down the highway, it's legal to do that.

But if you're going down the highway, there's a huge hurricane coming through, and you make the decision to go through that, that's a little big different. And you have to consider those things.

There's no system, there's no hurricane warning system on this highway. It didn't work. We have one. It's there, an information system. That system should have warned, but it can't anymore. It was designed in the 1940s.

This system has been around forever and we don't any --

BURNETT: It would warn what about?

SOUCIE: It would have warned the pilots. It would have warned the airlines. It would have told them, what's going on in that country?

Right now, we rely on those countries to report their situation. We can't do that anymore. We have to have external countries do that.

BURNETT: OK. But, Miles, a point you and I have talked about a bit over the past couple days, there were some airlines who felt that this was no a place they wanted to fly and were not flying there. Not all airlines, plenty of airlines going through this space. There were many that were not.

O'BRIEN: Some airlines are clearly smarter and better than others when if comes to this kind of thing. They have better connections to security apparatus. They have a longer history dealing with conflicts and they make those decisions on their own. Captains make their own decisions as well.

You know, it occurs to me, Erin, that both Malaysian incidents we've been talking about, these many months, just underscore the need for a robust international organization that not only looks after airspace and makes decisions on where airliners should and should not be, but also can come in and in an objective way conduct an investigation. Both these Malaysian incidents for desperate reasons just cry out for the creation of such an entity. We don't have such a thing right now. ICAO is not doing its job.

QUEST: Miles, if I --


QUEST: I'm with Miles on this.

SOUCIE: Well -- go ahead. Tell me why.

QUEST: Because I've spent the last few days trying to get sense out of ICAO. ICAO has said specifically that it is -- it was not its responsibility to close the air over Ukraine. It was Ukraine's permission. Euro control specifically told me it was not their responsibility.

But you have left the responsibility with a country that has got deep military issues at the moment.

BURNETT: A country which is dysfunctional. Let's just say. Whatever part of it is dysfunctional at this point.


SOUCIE: But remember, ICAO's purpose, in Chicago convention, the purpose is to set standards and practices. Those standards and practices are what need to be revised. Not the organization.

ICAO doesn't have enforcement, which in addition to what Miles has said, they need to have the ability to investigate and report, but they also have to have enforcement which they don't, and the new convention --


BURNETT: No countries are really ever going to give them that.

O'BRIEN: It's high time that we had such an entity.

SOUCIE: I agree.

O'BRIEN: Whether it's ICAO or something else. We have two major incidents that have cried out for this.

BURNETT: So, Miles, how do you know when you're buying a ticket on an airplane whether the airline that you're looking at buying at is, you know, making these decisions with extreme caution, right? There have been reports, Air France, Air China, were all avoiding this, Emirates, Cathy Pacific were not flying here. Plenty of others were because they were technically allowed to do so. In other cases, maybe the airlines who aren't flying here are doing something they shouldn't somewhere else.

How would you ever know as a member of the buying public when you go to buy the ticket? You just avoid the cheap ticket? I mean, what do you do?

O'BRIEN: You can do what I do, which is go to and look at the flight path for the last month on the flight you're about to go on. If they fly repeatedly over Ukraine and you don't want to do that, I wouldn't book that flight. Just as simple as that.

QUEST: We have to raise the bar generally.


QUEST: This is the issue here. And I'm -- you know, ICAO on this was not fit for purpose.

SOUCIE: That I agree with, absolutely.

QUEST: ICAO was not fit for purpose.

In fact, I'll go further. The European aviation infrastructure, which something I do know something about, single European skies they've been trying to get for some years, that wasn't fit for purpose because those -- that airspace should have been closed.


O'BRIEN: Aviation, by definition, is a global enterprise. And to have it regulated in a patchwork fashion, especially in this era, is never going to work.

BURNETT: Never going to work, but, of course, it's so hard, especially when you look at countries around the United States, which no doubt many of our viewers around the world are well aware of, when it comes to buying into global edicts that would supersede your own national laws has not supported.

OUTFRONT next, the world's largest crime scene is how people have been calling this site. Why are investigators then getting such limited access?

And new questions about Russia's involvement in the crash. Here's the bottom line: is it -- does it go all the way to the Kremlin?


BURNETT: And welcome back to our special two-hour live edition of OUTFRONT.

Flight 17 was shot down more than two days ago but investigators still do not have full access to the crash site.

Our Rene Marsh reports tonight that an NTSB investigator has arrived in Kiev from the United States. And is now en route to the crash site in the eastern part of the country where there are reports of looting, gunfire has been heard nearby as we can report this evening. And the grim task of removing the bodies has just started. It's unclear, though, at this point who actually has been removing them and where they are sending them to.

The prime minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, has been slamming Russian President Vladimir Putin over the plane. In "The Sunday Times", Cameron writes, if the evidence does conclude that Russia was involved, quote, "this is the direct result of Russia de- establishing a sovereign state."

Our Phil Black reports from the crash site tonight.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is where MH17 scarred the earth with the greatest force and heat. The wreckage that struck here was big. Both of the Boeing 777's engines and wings, it's likely this is where the fuel load burned off as well. The blaze so intense, metal components melted into the ground.

Down the road, other big pieces of the aircraft mark the farming landscape, but the smaller debris here also holds real power, some of the commonplace possessions of travelers everywhere. But there is also the more personal, giving little insights into the lives of those who fell with the plane.

These were people from around the world with no connection to Ukraine's conflict, but their bodies now lie across this war zone. Their positions are marked with sticks and white cloth. Most of the injuries are too terrible to show, or even talk about.

Pro-Russian militants are in control here. Some show curiosity, but there's no obvious intention of quickly recovering the bodies or securing the aircraft.

(on camera): This is a strange, eerie experience, walking through the debris field of a passenger jet. The remains of its crew and passengers are everywhere, and yet there is no one here trying to work out what happened, no one here to take responsibility for this.

(voice-over): The militant's leaders say they are deliberately not altering the site to it remains intact for Ukrainian and international experts to inspect. They're blaming the central government in Kiev for not getting the experts here sooner. Until both sides act together, there can be little dignity for MH17's


Phil Black, CNN, near Hrabove, in Eastern Ukraine.


BURNETT: Richard Quest is with me along with CNN aviation analyst Mary Schiavo.

And, Richard, watching that piece from Phil Black makes me think of something Chris Cuomo is reporting. He said, look, I didn't see looting, myself, but I didn't see the things, high-priced things. Didn't see the watches. Didn't see those sorts of things. There's been reports of credit cards being looted.

It's hard to imagine that that can be happening, but it appears that it is. People are looting from the dead.

QUEST: I don't think there's any doubt. You know, let's say it as it is. I -- we've heard reports of it. In the early days, it's been there. We've heard other people talking about what's not there. It's taking place.

I mean, we saw people standing on the wreckage as if it's some sort of amusement park in the early hours of this incident. So, this is -- it is unspeakable.

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Sadly, for accidents outside the United States and the iron fist of the FBI and the NTSB, looting is more common than not. I've even had parts of planes crashed in other countries then have come back for sale on the secondary parts market. Of course, they're bogus parts. But --

BURNETT: They try to sell them in the secondary air parts market?

SCHIAVO: Sure. Sure.

QUEST: The -- that's why -- the thing I remember from Lockerbie, if you go back to Lockerbie, within minutes, within hours, what's that picture? The famous picture of Lockerbie is the nose cone on the hillside in Scotland. But what's also in that picture are policemen standing next to it. The protection of the scene, the dignity of those involved.

BURNETT: And our reporters, I mean, we have seen reporters that are there. We've been talking to the investigators saying they've gotten slightly better access but they have -- don't have full access, far from unfettered.

And Elise Labott is reporting on developments from the State Department -- Elise.

LABOTT: Well, Erin, you heard today, Secretary of State John Kerry having a very tough call with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov about the need for a credible investigation and making sure that the evidence was secure and not tampered with and getting access to those investigators. Now, State Department coming out with a statement from spokesperson Jen Psaki saying U.S. is very concerned about the lack of access, the safe and unfettered access for the OSCE investigators that you've been talking to.

And even today, they got in, but it was a few hours, a very small area. And these reports of bodies being moved, evidence being tampered with, parts of the plane and other potential evidence being tampered with, parts of the plane being hauled away. In all, talking about the idea of a credible investigation.

And, Erin, this just goes to what we have been talking about earlier about the U.S. being concerned that some of these separatists with Russian orders, acquiescence, are moving some f those parts of the debris, of the plane back into Russia to try to hide evidence of any culpability.

BURNETT: Richard? You're trying to --

QUEST: I just -- I just want to on this geopolitical point, if I may, Erin.

BURNETT: Yes, yes.

QUEST: Prime Minister Cameron tonight writing in the British newspapers along this -- you heard what he said. He says, if President Putin does not change his approach to Ukraine, then Europe and the West must fundamentally change our approach.

BURNETT: What does that mean, though? Because David Cameron, obviously is very close with the United States, but you have others in Europe who have been very hesitant to really up the ante against Russia. Angela Merkel in Germany. It's very difficult. Huge trade relationship. Does this really change the game? People can say it changes the game, Richard. But when it comes to the rubber meets the road, does it?

QUEST: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. This is --

BURNETT: So, this really will change?

QUEST: Is it going to do what some would want? Maybe not. But there is no question that this is the quantum leap. This is the one that moves things forward, because the electorates will demand it. The Dutch certainly. You've got --

BURNETT: Certainly in the Netherlands.

QUEST: You've got -- there's 10 people from Britain. There's 27 people from Australia.

You know, this is when democracy and the democratic sort of view, people say, what are you doing, prime minister? We want to bring our people home to --

BURNETT: They say that. Mary, you've dealt with these kinds of investigations. All of a sudden, say, Germany ups the ante, all of a sudden, gas prices start rising. I mean, there are repercussions on the other side.

SCHIAVO: But it never ceases to amaze me how quickly people forget about these terrible aviation tragedies and they will be within a year or two be booking back on these other airlines or they will forget about these tragedies.

And the other thing about the site that's important to know, this wreckage belongs to someone. These are someone's possessions. In the U.S., we have a law and there are several companies that do this, they catalog every single piece, in these three-ring binders, binder after binder of what they find.

Some of these possessions actually get returned and people are allowed to have them returned and the plane belongs to Malaysia's insurance companies. So, they're carting off the property of the people.

So, there are a lot of angles to look at this. You know, it's not a simple case of they want to hide the evidence and take it into Russia. They're stealing. That's yet another crime compounding the site.

BURNETT: Well, anybody who's going to this site and seeing one of these bodies which we are the not going to show, and taking a watch from them, is an animal.

QUEST: But here's --

SCHIAVO: Yes, I agree.

QUEST: Last week, we saw, in fact, exactly a week ago, we saw President Putin there, Angela Merkel there, in the middle of the World Cup final. Can you imagine Angela Merkel now being prepared to watch a football match next to Vladimir Putin?

BURNETT: Absolutely not, but pictures and actions aren't always the same, but let's see. Perhaps you will be right. Maybe you really will be. As you say, it could be a real quantum leap this time.

All right. Well, thanks to both of you.

And OUTFRONT next, the BUK missile system, now the United States says they confirmed was, indeed, used in taking down this airliner. What exactly can it do? And where did the pro-Russian rebels get it from?

And the passengers of Flight 17, the people who died on that plane and those who were going to get on and didn't at the last moment.


BURNETT: Breaking news on Flight MH17.

U.S. officials tell CNN they believe that a BUK missile system, that's what it's called, B-U-K, it's a surface-to-air missile, was smuggled into Ukraine prior to Flight 17 being shot down. Those officials say they believe it was moved back to Russia after the attack.

That was the breaking news tonight. That they say they have evidence that that system was then moved back over the Russian border in the past day or so. The implication, of course, that Russia is trying to tamper with the evidence.

Now, the BUK missile system is something we've been hearing a lot about over the past couple of days.

Tom Foreman is in Washington to take a closer look at exactly what it is.

And, Tom, what is the BUK? Again, it's spelled B-U-K. What's it capable of?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is a four-man unit. It has four ready to fire missiles up on top. It can set up and fire very quickly and move away after firing very quickly. Those missiles have a tremendous amount of power.

Let's bring one in here and talk about that. Each one is about 16 feet long. We're showing them a little bit smaller to make it all fit. It will weigh about 1,500 pounds. And it has a 154 -pound warhead on it. That means 154 pounds of high explosive.

It doesn't actually have to hit the target. It just has to get close to it, but with electronic guidance systems, it can get very close and it can do it in a short period of time, 22 seconds from the time its radar acquires a target to the time a missile like this can be launched.

Look at the speed. It travels at a top speed of 2,684 miles per hour. More than three times the speed of sound. That means even if it were fired from 30 miles away, it could have hit a plane like this in 40 seconds or less. That means people onboard would absolutely never even see it coming.

BURNETT: Tom, thank you very much.

And never even see it coming, perhaps some solace, of course, as we have been learning, perhaps, some on this plane, unfortunately, afterwards may have been aware something catastrophic had happened.

I want to bring in our military analyst, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, along political analyst, Josh Rogin, who's senior national security and correspondent for "The Daily Beast."

Colonel Francona, Tom reporting on these missiles. It's very difficult, because on one hand there's the emphasis on, look, you can move it around in five minutes, you can shoot it very quickly. It's incredibly mobile.

But, then, on the other hand, there's the fact it is an incredibly sophisticated missile system, even though it's not the most sophisticated in the Russians' arsenal.

You know a lot about this. How easy is it for someone to train and operate the BUK?


BURNETT: Six months.

FRANCONA: The Army uses about a six-month training period for someone to operate a system this complicated.

Now, to believe this was given to the separatists and they were able to operate this just defies logic for me. The Russians either had to take them to Russia, train them, and take them back.

So, we're talking about a six-month lead time. Or the Russians sent advisers in, advisers in quotes, to run the system for them.

BURNETT: So, it sounds like what you're saying is your belief is that they actually sent the advisers in themselves. Because when you look at the length of the conflict, there isn't the six-month leave time.

FRANCONA: As we get more information about what happened, and more intelligence is being released, I'm coming more and more to the conclusion the Russians must have operated this system.

BURNETT: Josh, what does that mean if it indeed turns out to be the case, if it was Russians that actually operated it? I'm probably using the wrong word, but push the button, pull trigger, as opposed to a pro-Russian group?

JOSH ROGIN, THE DAILY BEAST: Yes, according to intercepts, this was operated by rebels in the ground in close coordination and contact with Russian intelligence officials.

So, either way, the Russians have their hand prints on this. So, OK, let's say that's the case. Question becomes, what do we do? And the problem is even if we prove that the Russians are complicit

and even if we prove that they're causing trouble in eastern Ukraine, which, of course, they are, it's not clear if they increase sanctions, as some are calling for, are going to work, right?

It doesn't seem like this is ever going to be as important to the U.S. and Europe as it is to Vladimir Putin. There's a gap between the strategy of raising the sanctions on Russia and actually achieving the goal of solving the problem of what's going on in eastern Ukraine. So, there will be a lot of work to disc discover who exactly is responsible.

We can say for sure that the Russians are involved in this, that they are increasing their presence and military support including high-end weapon systems in eastern Ukraine. They're not going to stop based on the sanctions, so then we have to figure out what to do after that.

BURNETT: Colonel, this is where my question comes in, though, because isn't this a case, if you can become a very big country with a very big arsenal and have nuclear weapons and obviously, there's all sorts of other countries you see that might be looking at this model, that you can do essentially whatever you want, because you're not going to have a country like the United States be willing to engage in some sort of military conflict or proxy war with a country like Russia.

FRANCONA: This is the calculus that Vladimir Putin is going to do right now. He's going to say, what can I get away with? What are the Americans going to do, what is Europe going to do? What kind of sanctions am I going to have to live through? Can I continue on my goal to reincorporate eastern Ukraine just like I did Crimea back into the Russian empire?

BURNETT: And what do you think the result of that calculus will be? Will sanctions, even souped up sanctions that are much farther than anyone currently thinks the United States would go on Vladimir Putin, himself, for an example, would that do it ?

FRANCONA: I'm not a Russian expert, but I just think -- you know, given his background, he's an old KGB guy, an old intel guy -- I think he'll get his backup. I think he knows where he wants to be and he's going to take appropriate steps to get there. And he may temporarily back off but that's not going to change his long-term goal. I think he believes he can wait us out, because, as you know, we seem to change course every four to eight years. He's got a long term goal here.

BURNETT: Josh, isn't there something about that, that he may -- even if he backs off slightly, his eye is still on the prize?

ROGIN: He can wait us out. If you saw the Obama administration sanctions they released this week were carefully crafted not to affect U.S. businesses. The European sanctions are carefully crafted not to affect European businesses.

Are the U.S. and Europe ready to impose the kind of sanctions that would have blowback for the U.S. economy and for the European economy? Vladimir Putin's calculation is no.

So given that, we have to make a decision in the West, either we're going to put the sanctions on that would actually pressure him, which we have shown no willingness to do, or have to negotiate with him and we have to find a deal, not the current deal, but another deal that allows them to have a face-saving exit from Ukraine.

BURNETT: Which means giving them part of Ukraine.

ROGIN: Or at least giving them control and influence in part of Ukraine. That's clearly what they want. That's essentially what they're going to have to get if they're going to stop and the colonel's right, they are not going to start ever. This is an existential issue for Vladimir Putin.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thanks very much for both of you.

And quick point for those around the world watching, when you look back at the old USSR, the second biggest group after Russians was Ukrainians. Very, very important part in terms of how they perceived their country to be.

All right. Well, OUTFRONT next, Flight 17's passengers. We look at the people who lost their lives on the plane and those who just narrowly avoided the disaster.


BURNETT: And welcome back to our special two-hour edition of OUTFRONT, "Shot Down Malaysia 17."

For all those around the world tonight who are watching this and feeling sad, feeling lonely, feeling afraid, these are just a touch of what those who are directly impacted by this are feeling -- they are in shock of what has happened and some of them perhaps, a twist of fate. People who actually were supposed to be on this plane and narrowly avoided it.

Deborah Feyerick is OUTFRONT with the extraordinary tales of two people, one who was and one who should have been on Flight 17.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "If it disappears, this is what it looked like", wrote Cor Pan, posting what's believed to be a photo of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on his Facebook page an hour before takeoff. The Dutch man making a dark joke referring to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished from radar in March. His is one of the only known photos purportedly of MH Flight 17, shot down in the rebel held area of Ukraine.

For this MH17 passenger Mohamed Ali Mohamed Salim, the missing flight was also very much on his mind. Under the #feelingalittlenervous, he posted video, purported to be the inside of Flight 17.

Listen as a flight attendant prepares the cabin. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're boarding and we're loading. Once again, to ensure that for the flight to Kuala Lumpur --

FEYERICK: Australian Kaylene Mann's story is too much to believe. Still grieving her brother who vanished aboard Flight 370, she now lost her stepdaughter on Flight 17.

And then there's a married couple, both Malaysian Airlines flight attendants. The wife allegedly swapped shifts off missing Flight 370 and survived, but her husband Sanjid Singh (ph) swapped shifts on to Flight 17. Sadly, he died, along with the 297 other passengers and crew.

But there are other would-be passengers who are counting their blessings today, thanks to a chance decision or a twist of fate, that kept them off the doomed flight.

IZZY SIM, BUMPED OFF FLIGHT 17: I was thinking, I feel I've been give an second chance, and so hopefully that I will get there safely and I will see my family again.

FEYERICK: Izzy Sim, her husband and baby were bumped off the full flight.

SIM: I'm feeling physically sick. I was, like, from the Hilton The Hague coming to the airport in the taxi, I was just crying.

FEYERICK: Also supposed to be on Flight 17, Juan Jovel and his bride Simone La Posta. After a five-and-a-half week honeymoon, they switched flights to return to work without jetlag.

JUAN JOVEL: Feeling lucky, but at the same time, my heart bleeds for these families that expecting their loved ones to come home.

FEYERICK: Stories of improbable loss and improbable survival. Each one resonates because each one reminds us how fine the line is between what was, and what might have been.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.


BURNETT: Something that gets all of us thinking tonight.

We'll be right back.


BURNETT: July 17th, the day Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot out of the sky, shares an anniversary with the so mysterious crash of TWA Flight 800. Eighteen years ago, the Trans World flight exploded off the shores of Long Island in New York shortly after takeoff from JFK.

Many suspected terrorism at the time and many still question whether the government came to the right conclusion in saying that it was not terrorism. There were 230 people on board that plane. All lost their lives.

The TWA tragedy is the subject of a CNN special report which comes up next. And at 11:00, our breaking news coverage of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 shot down continues. And it's all for now. Thank you so much for joining us.